LibriVox recording of A First Century Message to Twentieth Century Christians, by G. Campbell Morgan. Read by MaryAnn Spiegel
G. Campbell Morgan was one of the leading evangelical preachers of his day. He began preaching at age 13 and by age 26 was teaching at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. He returned to England in 1904 to become pastor at Westminster Chapel in London. He was a contemporary and friend Martyn Lloyd-Jones, F. B. Meyer and Charles Spurgeon.
In this book, Morgan examines the letters to the seven churches of Asia which begin the book of Revelation in the New Testament. Over 1900 years have passed, and yet our churches today face many of the same temptations, struggles and challenges as those faced by these first century believers. Morgan brings home how the messages of Jesus to these early churches are equally applicable to our churches today. Would our own church receive Jesus’ praise? Or does our church need to answer Jesus’ call to repent and return to true worship?
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April 4, 2017 Subject:
A Faithful Exposition of Some of Jesus' Last Words
The reader has a gentle, cultivated, inviting voice, perfect for the inspired content. Much thanks, MaryAnn!
No discussion occurs in this book about the different camps that expositors of Revelation fall into, such as the preterist and the futurist. Because no discussion of this subject is needed for an exposition of the passage in question, it is a welcome omission. While some stories and analogies are used, there are not too many of them, they are subservient to the matter at hand, on point, and poignant. When subjects are come to which must be interpreted by other parts of Scripture, like Balaam and Jezebel, their histories are summed up, thereby giving the reader, not only understanding, but confidence that the expositor is actually delivering on his duty to communicate the truth.
My only objection is to G. Campbell Morgan’s use of the Revised Standard Version. This translation misses the very important word ‘even’ in “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments.” Much could be, and ought to be, made of this word ‘even.’ The word magnifies the filthy condition of this church. Whole clauses are omitted from the letters by the RSV. This is a hindrance that no expositor should put up with. At one point, Morgan comments on a ‘certain kind of criticism’ against the word of God, not realizing that the translation he is using is itself a victim of this criticism. He does not name what this criticism is, but obviously the ‘higher criticism’ is what he alludes to.
This book is nevertheless excellent, or is less than excellent only in this one matter of what translation is used. Good exposition will cause a reader or listener to infer some things that the expositor never even developed. For example, in the passage of Scripture on the church in Pergamos, the threat is made by the Lord that if those who hold to the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes are not disciplined by the church, he will fight the heretics himself. Since discipline is elsewhere denoted as turning erring church members over to Satan for the destruction of their flesh, we must suppose that the discipline that Jesus has in mind is even worse than that, or else his ‘or else’ has no force. Ministers who think they do heretical church members favors by not disciplining them do nothing but leave them exposed to a greater danger than discipline would expose them to, for there is no one as awful and terrible, not even Satan by far, than the Lord Jesus Christ.
July 25, 2016 Subject:
God Bless MaryAnn
I was not aware of having expressed how wonderful and challenging a gift the gift of a beautiful voice and wonderfully expressed and womanly voice has been so great a gift to one still suffering greatly from depression and sadness over the death of my angel wife only three month out of the combat zone I am still suffering (That was a mouthful). But were I able to express myself as well all of the other great works written by such men as P G Wodehouse, Joseph Conrad, and so many others that I will not bore you with nor can remember for the anxiety I feel in letting you in on such a sacred part of my heart. All I can say in my defense is that I have two beautiful daughters and they are both as talented as possible but maybe a little handicapped in speaking in their Mississippi voices. May God Bless You MaryAnn and all of your family!!! And though I have not listened to the book yet I know already that it will be both beautifully and reverently read by anyone who will just take the time to listen... Once more God bless and I will get back to the book.